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Frank O'Connor, Halo franchise director, has left Microsoft

Update: This post has been updated with official confirmation of O'Connor's departure courtesy of Microsoft.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

April 17, 2023

2 Min Read
Key art for Halo Infinite, showing Master Chief on Zeta Halo.

Frank O'Connor, another longtime veteran of Microsoft's Halo franchise, appears to have departed 343 Industries. His LinkedIn shows that he's left the studio he helped founded sometime this month. 

O'Connor has been with Halo ever since the shooter series originated at Bungie. While at Bungie, he was originally a community manager for the first three Halo games and its two spinoffs, Halo: Reach and Halo 3: ODST. He later joined 343 as its director for the franchise. 

As franchise director, he helped build out the series from Halo 4-onwards. That included ensuring various games lined up with each other from a story standpoint, and building out different parts of the universe as seen in expanded media like the show (which he executive produced) and books.

Part of his job early on also involved bringing on developers who were muted (or actively disliked) Halo, and getting their insight into what did or didn't work about it.

At time of writing, O'Connor's most recent position lists him as the franchise creative director for a currently undisclosed studio.

343 Industries' veteran departures keep going on 

Should O'Connor's departure be true, it would mark another high-profile developer leaving 343. Last week, Halo Infinite director Joe Staten announced he was leaving Microsoft entirely, and he's since joined Netflix Games

Other big name leaves include studio founder Bonnie Ross, multiplayer director Tom French, and several more. 

At time of writing, Microsoft or O'Connor have yet to officially confirm his departure. Game Developer has reached out to the former and will update when a response is given. 

Update: Microsoft confirmed to Axios' Stephen Totilo that Frank O'Connor has left the company. In its brief statement, the Xbox maker thanked him "for his numerous contributions to the Halo franchise and wish [Frank] well going forward."

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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